From: Exit News
European Commission Approves €70 Million for Western Balkans’ COVID-19 Vaccines

EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca announced that the European Commission has approved a EUR 70 million package to help Western Balkan countries access COVID-19 vaccines provided by other EU states.

“Throughout the pandemic, the EU has shown that we treat the countries of the Western Balkans as privileged partners. We continue to act in this spirit in the case of vaccines as well, taking steps from the outset to enable a rapid start of vaccination campaigns for key staff and the most vulnerable groups in the region.

Rapid vaccination will be crucial to ending the pandemic and starting the socio-economic recovery of the Western Balkans,” Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi stated on Monday.

The package will take the form of grants that will help to cover the cost of vaccines for priority groups in the region. It will enable WB countries to purchase vaccines from the six-producer EU Advanced Procurement Agreements, with EU member states sharing some of their predetermined doses.

It will start “later than campaigns of vaccination in the EU” but access to some doses from EU purchase agreements will allow the region to launch vaccinations in parallel with EU states.

The announcement comes as Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has so far not been able to secure any vaccines.

Another WB country, Serbia started vaccinating members of the public last week.

Rama previously lashed out at the EU following its decision to give surplus vaccines to the region.